Martin Howard's reviews of films seen on the big screen in 2003, with links to the BBC's alternate views.

Touching The Void

(14th December 2003)
Like no other film I've seen in the cinema. This Docu-Drama is based on the true story of the ascent of Siula Grande in Peru by Joe Simpson and Simon Yates. Epic, dramatic, moving- the words roll off the tongue. Absoultely gripping- such an attention grabber that you could have heard a pin drop in the cinema. If you can't see the film, read the Book on which it is based. BBC Review
Calendar Girls

(14th September 2003)
A must see for anyone from Yorkshire, anyone who has ever been in a club, or who has laughed. To say it is brilliant would be to go to far ( the film loses its way a bit in the second half), but it is certainly up there with the best.
BBC Review
The Man Who Sued God

(31st August 2003)
I tried really hard to dislike Billy Connolly in this film, but casting him as fisherman/ ex-lawyer Stever Myers works really rather well. The mix of court room legal and theological twists might get a bit much for a simpleton, but definitely in the 'Good Australian Film' category.
(See also Rabbit Proof Fence)
BBC Review
Buffalo Soldiers

(17th August 2003)
American Army, Cold War, Germany. Actually I really enjoyed this film- some good evocative imagery, the odd surprise and a story line one shouldn't take too seriously. Good. BBC Review
Bruce Almighty

(24th July 2003)
Nothing to write home about, but there are certainly a few chuckles. There is enough of a theological afterthought to avoid many claims of blasphemy. BBC Review

(21st July 2003)

(Private screening)
Well... You wait an hour for him to go green. There is one moderately scary moment and the storyline is poor. There are many better ways to spend 2 hours and 18 minutes. Don't rush. BBC Review
Breaking Down the House

(19th June 2003)
Queen Latifah (seen earlier in the year in Chicago) and Steve Martin star. An amusing film- if you think the humour is racist, then you may well be! Hard hitting, but you should have heard the audience laugh where I went to see it. BBC Review
Anger Management

(17th June 2003)
At first I started to get really stressed out- the film so prefectly describes some of the absurdities of modern life. However,I ended up being surprisingly relaxed. Wallow and enjoy. BBC Review
Ripley's Game

(8th June 2003)
A thriller with a rather strange feel to it. John Malkovich takes the lead. As a newcomer to the Ripley stories, I did not know what to expect... A well told story with much callous violence towards the end. Enjoyable and surprisingly thought provoking. BBC Review
Johnny English

(24th April 2003)
Not a great film. Fairly short... But boy did I laugh!
BBC Review

(17th February 2003)
Ben Affleck stars as the comic book hero. The violence is more 'in your face' than Spiderman, though there are some spectacular stunts. Any moral there might be in the story got a bit lost in the action.
BBC Review
Two Weeks Notice

(9th February 2003)
Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant are both back to their painting by numbers methods of acting. I enjoyed the film while I was watching it, but a week later I can't tell you why. Wait for the video to come out when you've nothing better to do.
BBC Review
Catch Me if You Can

(1st February 2003)
Directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr, a former con-artist. Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks star in this very watchable film. I really enjoyed it.
BBC Review

(26th January 2003)
They don't make films like this any more! A classic and fully deserving of its Oscars. Get it on video or DVD (and don't forget the CD!).
BBC Review
8 Mile

(19th January 2003)
The music wasn't as aggravating as I thought it was going to be. Set a world apart- there was at least a story to follow, despite the incomprehensible English.
BBC Review
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

(1st January 2003)
A cinematic spectacular, even for a Tolkein newcommer. Go with a clear head and an empty bladder, sit back and let the film envelop you. Marvel.
BBC Review
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Updated Sunday 14th December 2003